(Note: This map is significant as we study the “War of Gog and Magog”, based on the book of Ezekiel, indicating the countries of present day Russia, Persia (present day Iran), Cush (present day Sudan), Gomer (present day Turkey), Beth Togarmah (present day countries where turkish-speaking people spread out from Turkey and settled in Causasus and the areas of Central Asia, and Put (present day Libya and Algeria –those countries are on a different map in the Maps in Light of Biblical Prophecy category).
Our seeking God longs to be sought! God placed his fingerprints
all over the universe and then gave us places to find life and
meaning. He had a purpose in this plan: he wanted us to seek the
One behind it all. He is never far away from us, but he longs to be
sought and found. When we seek after God, we are not only blessing
him, we’re also living out our life’s key task.
Heavenly Father, I long to know you more completely — as the
old hymn says to Jesus: “Beyond the sacred page, I seek thee Lord.
My spirit pants for thee O living Word.” Loving Father, I ask that
your presence would be recognizable in my daily life. I truly want
to get to know you, even as I am known by you. In the name of the
Savior I pray. Amen.
7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.
Promise #263: If you help the poor, your light will shine like the dawn.
God’s heart is for the underdog. He protects the widow and the orphan and has chosen the poor of this world to inherit His kingdom. In today’s Scripture promise, God tells us that if we feed the hungry, give the poor shelter and clothe the naked, then His favor and His blessings will shine on all that we do.
The NLT version of Isaiah 58:8 says… “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.”
What a glorious promise! If we look after those who can’t look after themselves, then God will look after us in every way possible. Our wounds will quickly heal, the light of our godliness will lead us forward and the glory of the Lord will protect our backs! God’s heart is for the underdog. In every way, we too are underdogs that God protects and provides for. May we see the world through our Father’s eyes today and see the many opportunities He presents to us so that we can be a blessing to others.
Lord help us today to see the needs around us and be a manifestation of your love, life and provision to those who are in need. Thank you that as we help others, your love and your glory will keep us safe too.
Despite being a tiny country the size of New Jersey Israel is a country of incredible diversity, with a desert in the south and ski slopes in the north. Among these places, are Jerusalem, Israel’s capital and the capital of world religion, the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, Tel Aviv, Israel’s modern day capital – a thriving metropolis on the Mediterranean, and the Galileewith its Tuscan-style hills of Biblical fame.
The Caesarea Aquaduct Novecentino
Israel is located in South Western Asia, at the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. A tiny country, similar in size to New Jersey, it is incredibly diverse and is divided into four or five regions.
The long Mediterranean Coastal Plain stretches 190 km and houses 70% of the country’s population in some of Israel’s largest cities including Tel Aviv and Haifa as well as agricultural and more rural settlements. Beachesstretch almost the entire stretch of the beautiful plain, which boasts magnificent ancient ruins including Caesarea as well as magnificent new settlements and resorts such as Herzliya.
The Negev Highlands by josef.steufer on Flickr
The Central Hills lie to the east of the Coastal Plain, stretching from the northern border to the far south and the city of Eilat. The hills encompass the Galilee, Mount Carmel, the Negev highlands, as well as the Jerusalem Hills, and offer staggering scenery, desert in the south, and Tuscan in the north.
Mount Hermon in the Golan by Flickr user miss pupik
The Jordan Rift Valley also extends from the north of Israel to the far south, and is part of the Great African Rift Valley, a tectonic plate boundary. The River Jordan flows through the valley into two unique lakes, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. In the north, the Golan Heights are a range of hills to the east of the valley which include Israel’s highest peak, Mount Hermon which is a winter ski resort.
In the south of Israel lies the Negev desert. The Negev incorporates about half of Israel’s land area, and host a geographical phenomenon, Makhteshim. These crater like landforms are unique to the Negev and Sinai deserts, with three large craters including the Ramon Crater, found in the Negev.
The Jesus Trail is a special hiking trail in Israel’s Galilee region, the land in which Jesus is said to have lived in the Bible. Opened in 2009 ahead of the The Pope’s visit to Nazareth, the Jesus Trail is a 40 mile long walking trail in the Galilee which follows the footsteps of Jesus. From Nazareth, Jesus’ home town, the trail winds its way through pretty towns and villages mentioned in the New Testament, to Capernaum on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
The trail was planned by Tour Guide Moaz Inon with the aim of enabling visitors to the region to “meet and interact with the multicultural nature of the people that are living in the Galilee today”. As such, the trail, which, if hiked in full is designed to take four days, passes through modern communities inhabited by Jews, Christians and Muslims, a nice and subtle modern day story complementing the Biblical stories of the land.
Leaving Nazareth, the Jesus Trail passes through varied settlements including Zippori which, in the time of Jesus was the center of the local Roman government, and the place where Jesus was thought to have worked as a carpenter. Today, Zippori is a small rural community, but also hosts a large National Park which includes the archaeological remains of the ‘Mona Lisa of the Galilee’ – a mosaic resembling the Mona Lisa.
Cana is of Biblical fame as the location of Jesus’ first miracle in which he is said to have turned water into wine. Winding its way through the streets of modern Kfar Kana, the trail sets hikers in a situation which truly brings the Bible to life. Further along is the topographical landmark of the Horns of Hittin famous as the spot where Salahaddin defeated the Crusaders, signalling a bloody end to the Second Crusade, and topographically important as a high spot from where breathtaking views to the Sea of Galilee can be enjoyed.
As the trial winds its way down to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, more and more familiar places will pop up on the map and on the roadsigns including the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered the famous Sermon on the Mount, and below, Tabgha, where the gospels of Mark and Matthew tell the parable of the loaves and the fish, and the feeding of the 500. The trail ends at Capernaum on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Regardless of religious belief, the Jesus Trail is a great hiking trail whether you decide to take the four days to complete the whole route, or simply take short stops. The great thing about this trail is that it is planned with places to stay and eat along the way with great signage and incredible resources available on the Jesus Trail website.
The Sea of Galilee (the Kinneret) is a magnificent geographical marvel surrounded by pretty rural agricultural settlements. Famous because of its prominence among New Testament writings (as is the whole of the Galilee as the place Jesus lived), the Sea of Galilee is one of the earliest settled areas in the Land of Israel and boasts archaeological ruins sitting alongside some of the first pioneering settlements in Israel, as well as religious sites, modern cities, and endless outdoor pursuits.
Fishermen still fish in the Sea of Galilee by Flickr user hoyasmeg
Whilst Tiberias, the largest city around the Sea of Galilee, and a holy city in Judaism, is nothing special in itself, it is here that you can visit the Tiberias Hot Springs, ancient pools filled with water from 17 natural springs, for some pampering. The springs also have massage and mud treatments and Turkish Baths. From Tiberias, and elsewhere on the lake, it is possible to rent a bike and cycle around the Sea of Galilee. The region also has loads of hiking trails, including the Jesus Trailwhich runs from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee.
The coolest place we know around the Sea of Galilee is Rob Roy’s Canoes. Near Kibbutz Kinneret, and on the banks of the Jordan River south of the lake, this oasis is a relaxing spot. Canoes can be hired for the lake, or you can just sit on a bedouin rug, with Bob Marley music playing in the background, under the shade of a tent, and watch the water flow through a river which is so steeped in and important in the history of the world.
Jesus Boat on the Sea of Galilee by Flickr user StormyDog
For an extreme view of the Sea of Galilee, above the Eastern shores of the lake, Switzerland is a forest and driving trail. Suitable for all cars, this tarmacked road affords fantastic views of the lake. And for a more unique way of exploring the lake itself, take a Jesus Boat, which is a wooden boat in the style of the time of Jesus for a ride on the lake and get a unique perspective of the geography and scenery, in surroundings which are out of the Bible.
Sunset over the Sea of Galilee by Flickr user Beny Shlevich
About 5 miles east of the lake is Hamat Gader – Hot Springs one of Israel’s most popular attractions. With mineral springs of up to 50 degrees, there have been ancient baths here for almost 2000 years. There is also an alligator and exotic bird reserve!
There are lots of open access points to the beaches surrounding the Sea of Galilee, although these are unserviced. If you dont require facilities, the best beach is Tsemach Beach on the eastern shore, where you can also rent basic facilities for a small fee.